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Fruits, Birds, and Beasts; the Sea, with its Inhabitants; the Air, the Wind, the Frost and Snow, the Heat and Fire, the Clouds and Rain, all wait upon us while we do our Work. Yea, the Angels are all our ministring Spirits (e). Nay more, the Patience of God doth wait upon us; the Lord Jesus Christ waiteth, in the Offers of his Blood; the Holy Spirit waiteth, by striving with our backward Hearts; befides the Ministers of the Gofoel, who study and wait, preach and wait, pray and wait; upon careless Sinners. And is it not an intolerable Crime for us to trific, while Angels and Men, yea, the Lord himfeil, iland by, and look on, and, as it were, hold us the Candle while we do nothing? I befeech you, Cristians, whenever you are praying, or reproving Transgreffors, or upon any Duty, remeniber what Afiftances you have for your Work, and then judge how you ought to perform it. The Princi los W? profess, are, that God is the chief Good; that all our Happiness confills in his Love, and therefore it should be valued and sought above all Things; that he is our only Lord, and therefore chiefly to be served; that we must love him with all our Heart, and Soul, and Strength; that our great Business in the World is to glorify God, and obtain Salvation. Are these Dočtrines seen in our Practice? Or rather do not our Works deny what our Words confess? But however our Añistances and Principles excite us to our Work, we are sure we can never do too much. Could we do all, we are unprofitable Servants (f); much more when we are sure to fail in all, No Man can obey, or serve God too much. Though all Superftition, or Service of our own devising, may be called a being righteous over: much; yet as long as we keep to the Rule of the Word, we can never be
righ ) 11cb... 14 (f) Luke xvii, to,
righteous too much. The World is mad with Malice, when they think, that faithful Diligence in the Service of Christ is foolish Singularity. The Time is near when they will easily confess, that God could not be loved, or served too much, and that no Man can be too busy to save his Soul. We may easily do too much for the World, but we cannot for God.
$ 13. Let us further consider, that it is the Nature of every Grace to promote Diligence, that trifling in the Way to Heaven is left Labour, that much precious Time is already mispent, and that in Proportion to our Labour will be our Recompence. - See the Nature and Tendency of every Grace. If you loved God, you would think nothing too much that you could poffibly do to ferve him, and please him still more. Love is quick and impatient, active and observant. If you loved Chrift, you would keep his Commandments, nor accure them of too much Scri&tness. If you had Faith, it would quicken and encourage you. If you had the Hope of Glory, it would, as the Spring in the Watch, fet all the Wheels of your Souls a going. If you had the Fear of God, it would rouze vou out of your Slothfulnefs. If you had Zeal, it would infiame, and tat you up. In what Degree foever thou art fan&tified, in the same Degree thou wilt be serious and laborious in the Work of God. But they that trifle, lose their Labour. Many, who like Agrippa, are but almost Christians, will find in the End they shall be but almost faved. If two be running in a Race, he that runs flowest loes both Prize and Labour. A Man that is lifting at a Weight, if he put not sufficient Strength to it, had as good putnyone at all. How many Duties have Chriftians lost, for Wait of doing them thoroughly? Many will seekt: enter in, and shall not be able (g), G5
wbo, (8) Luke xiii. 24.
who, if they had striven, might have been able. Therefore, put to a little more Diligence and Strength, that all you have done already be nct in vain. Bifides, is not much precious Time already loft? With fome of us Childhood and Youth are gone; with fome, their middle Age also; and the Time before us is very uncertain. What Time have we slept, talked, and played away, or spent in worldly Thoughts and Cares? How lit:Je of our Work is done? The Time we have lost cannot be recalled; should we not then redeem and improve the little which remains? If a Traveller sleep, or trifle moft of the Day, he must travel so much faster in the Evening, or fall short of his Journey's End Daubt not but the Recomipence will be according to your Labrur. 'The Seed which is buried and dead, will bring forth a plentiful Harvest. Whatever you do, or luffer, everlafling Reli will pay for all. There is no repenting of La. bours or Sufferings in Heaven. There not one says, « Would I had spared my Pains, and prayed less, or “ been lefs Itrict, and done as the rest of my Neigh« bours did.” On the contrary, it will be their Joy to look back upon their Labours and Tribulations, and to consider how the mighty Power of God brought them through all. We may all say, as Paul, 1 reckon, that the Sufferings, and Labours, of this present Time, are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which fall be revealed in us (h). We labour but for a Moment, but we shall rest for ever. Who would not put forth all his Strength for one Hour, when for that Hour's Work he may be a Prince while he lives? God is not unrighteous, to forget our Work ard Labour of Lore(i). Will not all our Tears be wiped away, and all ihe Sorrow of our Duties be then forgotten?
of fk) Matt. xi. 12. O Luke xiii, 24. (m) Ecckf. ix. 1o.' (n) Phil č. 12. (o) 2 Pet. i, so. (P.) 1 Pet. iv, 1d.
of Salvation? So that let the World, the Flesh, or the Devil, speak against a holy laborious Life, this is my Answer, God hath commanded it. Nay, there rever was, or will be, a Man, but will approve such a Life, and will cre Day justify the Diligence of the Saints, And who would not go that Way, which every Man shall finally applaud? True, it is now a IVay every where fpoken ageing. But let me tell you, most that fpeak against it, in their Judgments approve of it; and those ibat are now against it, will shortly be of another Mind. If they coine to Heaven, their Mind must le changed before they come there. If they go to He'l, their Judgment will then be altered, whether they will or no. Remember this, you that love the opinion and Way of the Multitude; why then will you not be of the Opinion that all will be of? 1Vhy will you be of a Judgment, which you are sure all of you fortly to change? Ob that you were but as wife in this, as those in Hell! ------ Even tlie bijt of Christian, when they come to die, exceeding'y lament their Negliger.c?. They then with, “ Oh that I had been w a thousand Times more holy, more lieavenly, " more laborious for my Soul! The World accufes 66 me for doing too much, but my own Conscience " accuses ine for doing too little: It is far easier “ bearing the Scoffs of the World, than the Lashes " of Conscience. I had rather be reproached by the “ Devil for feeking Salvation, than reproved of God “ for mcglecting it." How do their Failings thus wound and disquiet them, who have been the Won. ders of the World for their heavenly Conversation! ----It is for Want of more Diligence, that Heaven i olf is oficu lift. Vlien they that have heard the Ivod, and ano'y suith Jy rodrived it, a'id lave done manz Tuirg, and heard the Minisers of Chrilt glad', (9';